LACRP Social Inclusion Summit

October 22, 2024
09:00 - 09:20
09:20 - 10:00
Social and gender inclusion as part of the solution
Social inclusion poses a significant challenge for countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, rooted deeply in structural and historical factors. High levels of poverty, persistent inequality, and widespread informality persist throughout individuals' life cycles and are transmitted across generations. Moreover, certain socio-demographic groups are particularly left behind. Adopting a lifecycle and comprehensive whole-of-government approach that not only considers the socioeconomic characteristics of various stakeholders is essential for well-designed social policies. Empowering women and revisiting productive inclusion are crucial steps to promote both social and gender inclusion, ultimately breaking the intergenerational cycle of poverty and reduce inequality. This integrated approach can also foster mutually reinforcing dynamics between economic growth and social inclusion.
10:00 - 10:40
Boosting social mobility through Education and Skills
In Latin America and the Caribbean, disparities in educational outcomes pose a significant barrier to social mobility. Recent PISA results from the region reveal stark differences in student performance, highlighting both the urgency and potential for reform. These disparities often reflect broader socioeconomic inequalities and addressing them is crucial for ensuring that education serves as a true driver for equality. Gender disparities further complicate the landscape, with varying access and outcomes for boys and girls, and strong segregation in career choices. Girls tend to choose careers with fewer opportunities and lower salaries in the labor market. This suggests a need for targeted strategies to ensure gender equity in educational opportunities. By focusing on these issues, efforts can be made to create a more inclusive and effective educational system that equips all young people with the skills necessary to achieve social mobility and more equitable and just societies.
11:00 - 11:40
Formalisation and the Grassroots Economy
Improving job quality and promoting formalisation are fundamental ingredients to enhancing workers’ well-being. With over 40% of the households in the LAC region relying fully on informal employment, it is crucial to closely analyse the characteristics of informal work. The grassroots economy, often marked by informal employment and small-scale businesses, is vital to many communities in the LAC region. However, informal work poses considerable challenges for workers and its dependents, including income volatility, social and economic vulnerability, and lack of access to social protection. Analysing the grassroots economy involves understanding the diverse and specific circumstances and needs of informal workers and their households. In fact, the composition of a household in terms of formal or informal workers and its impact on the dependent members of the household is key to the design of social protection mechanisms. Tailored approaches that consider these contexts can lead to more effective policy actions to improve living conditions.
11:40 - 12:20
Quality jobs for the largest youth generation leveraging the digital and green transitions
Successful engagement of young people in the labour market and society is crucial not only for their own personal economic prospects and well-being, but also for overall economic growth and social cohesion. Through adequate skills, employment, social and broader policy settings, young people have the opportunity to fulfil their potential and maintain confidence in their future prospects. This session will explore how the digital and green transitions can create quality jobs and equitable opportunities for youth, thus promoting inclusive economic growth and social cohesion in Latin America and the Caribbean.
12:20 - 12:40
Closing Public Sessions
14:00 - 15:15
Ministerial Session I: Addressing barriers to social mobility: Education and skills, gender, and migration
Despite decades of implementing innovative social programs, social mobility remains stagnant in Latin America and the Caribbean. Social mobility, defined as the shift in an individual's socioeconomic status compared to their parents (inter-generational mobility) or within their lifetime (intra-generational mobility), is intricately linked to equality of opportunity. This entails ensuring that individuals have equal chances to succeed in life regardless of factors such as their parents' socioeconomic background, gender, race, ethnicity, birthplace, or other uncontrollable circumstances. Education is the most significant equalizer of opportunities, and the region has witnessed a significant increase in access in the past decades. However, this has not been accompanied by improvements in the quality of education, particularly for disadvantaged populations. Addressing this disparity requires a focus on enhancing the quality and access to education, improving Vocational Education and Training systems, implementing gender inclusion policies, particularly in employment opportunities, and promoting careers in STEM fields. Additionally, tailored solutions are needed to address the unique challenges faced by the growing number of migrants in the region, including legal barriers and discrimination, which hinder their social mobility. This ministerial session aims to explore into these strategies and others aimed at dismantling barriers and fostering social mobility for all individuals in the region.
15:30 - 16:45
Ministerial Session II: Empowering local communities and the grassroots economy: Innovative tools and new approaches
Social and productive inclusion implies that all types of people, firms and places have access to economic opportunity and quality of life. In Latin America and the Caribbean, divides between urban and rural areas are particularly stark, while within large metropolitan areas inequalities are also high. The social and solidarity economy, rooted locally, can pioneer new business models, provide essential services, contribute to a fairer, green and digital transition, engage youth, and build communities. It can also be a vehicle to recognise and work more effectively with the grassroots economy, engage underserved places, help people on their path to employment and firm creation, and generate social innovations.
17:00 - 18:30
Ministerial Session III: Investing in social protection: Enhancing formalisation and achieving universal coverage
Informality is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon affecting many countries in the LAC region. The COVID-19 crisis has further highlighted the significant vulnerability of informal workers and the need to protect them and their dependents. As LAC countries attempt to address the challenges of vulnerability in the informal economy, it is essential to consider the diversity of informal workers and the contexts of their households. Among the many roots of labour informality—such as limited access to high-quality education and training, and a weak institutional framework and enforcement—the design of the social protection system is a key factor that may deserve more attention than it has received. This session will discuss alternatives for the expansion of social protection and its financing, untying it from formal-sector employment with a view to enhancing formalisation and achieving universal coverage.